Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/02/13/wall-separating-democracy-voters
Yes, how could the corporate elitist core of the democratic party not resort to us versus them tactics? After all, that’s all they have nothing else to offer voters. They fear change more than the Republicans and Trump.
Nevertheless, it’s the Democratic faithful who vote them in office and keep them in office. It’s the loyal registered Democrats who keep voting NOT on issues or a candidate’s past performance, but on identity, personality, electability, one or two line zingers scored during party sponsored shams of a debate, stage presence, oratory style and all the other hallmarks of American consumer culture. Sometimes it’s as little as D behind a candidate’s name. Like it or not, Americans tend to rate politicians they way they rate Super Bowl commercials. Make no mistake, it’s not a concern for issues that are causing Biden to slide or Buttigieg and Klobuchar combined to outpace Sanders in the vote count.
Concern for democracy? A wall separating them from democracy? Give us a break, Koehler. Democracy is the last thing establishment Democrats want. The Democrats have their own little club and they don’t want Sanders and his rabble stinkin’ it up with democracy. Don’t blame Trump. The Democrats are no champions of democracy, either.
Back to voters. We progressives need to acknowledge that we have a blind spot when it comes to understanding what motivates so much of the American electorate. We get so focused on the issues and voting on the issues that we sometimes assume that everyone else votes that way, too. Sorry folks, not even close. It’s the American voters who keep voting for the latest slick and shiny wrappers in their favorite flavor that contain the same old political turd.
This is what makes Bloomberg, Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar and the like so dangerous and so effective. It’s why these status quo candidates so fear Bernie and his intense focus on issues. Sanders is giving voters a peek of voting a different way. That’s the real revolution of the Sanders movement. Keep hammering away at the issues, Bernie. That’s their blind spot.
Worker pay could be $20,000 higher, that would inspire voters to vote. A plan to raise wage incomes for most workers would inspire voters to vote. Dems should promote higher wages for 90% of the workers. Even progressives fail to emphasize this. Restoring the income distribution ratio of 1980 would raise take-home wages by $20,000 for 90% of workers, for all the 150 million workers earning below $100,000 per year. The Social Security report on wage income states that 150 million earn less than $100,000 in wages. Each of the 150 million workers in the lower-earning 90%, with incomes below $100,000 could earn $18,186 more each year and we’d have the 1980 distribution of income ratio. The fact that elections are financed through private donations makes it impossible to fund a candidate who would change things. The median household income could easily be $83,179 instead of $63,179. A $40,000 individual worker income could be $60,000. Poverty would be greatly reduced. Sanders’ program comes closest to achieving the restoration of income distribution, and he is feared because of it. Higher minimum wage, higher EITC, labor union rights reform, corporate rules putting workers and community on corporate boards, a direct government job creation would tighten the labor market, all five policies, would force wage incomes higher. Also capital control measures and rules that prevented the exportation of factories low-wage nations rules would be part of the reform. This package would restore the income distribution of 1980. Yes, inflation would also increase, but it could be blunted with price control measures until the surge subsides and prices naturally reach a new equilibrium. We need lower prices on several key issues: healthcare, housing, childcare, and subsidies to transition to green energy. My blog: Economics Without Greed, Part Two.
For those who still erroneously believe that Bernie Sanders is the one to be feared rather than his corpocratic Democratic contenders (e.g. Joe Biden and Bloomberg) and yet-to-come Republican candidates, I leave the following memorable lines by the morbidly greedy Gordon Gekko (Wall Street, 1987): “Now you’re not naive enough to think we’re living in a democracy, are you, Buddy? It’s the free market, and you’re part of it. Yeah, you got that killer instinct. Stick around pal, I still got a lot to teach you.”